The link between zinc, testosterone, and men's health
Questions answered in this article:
As the second most abundant trace mineral in humans, zinc plays a role in many different organ systems. As a result, low zinc levels can cause a variety of problems.
There are a few reasons why zinc may be of interest to men, particularly those struggling with low libido or fertility. Zinc is an important player in the production of testosterone, the main male hormone. Because of this, zinc levels also affect male fertility, erectile dysfunction and even prostate cancer.
What is zinc's role in men's health?
Zinc and testosterone
Many products on the market for men's health promise to increase your testosterone, enhance your sex drive and optimize your muscle building powers. Is there any truth behind these bold claims?
Testosterone is an essential hormone for men's health. Normally, levels peak during puberty and decline after age 25-30 as part of the aging process. However, testosterone can decrease below normal levels and cause unpleasant effects such as fatigue, lowered sex drive, loss of muscle mass, and even erectile dysfunction.
Zinc is crucial for the production of testosterone. It enhances the cells in the testes that produce this hormone, increases the conversion of other male hormones into testosterone, and reduces its clearance by the liver. A deficiency in zinc can cause a dip in testosterone, and supplementation has been shown to increase free testosterone in males.
Zinc and fertility
There are many causes for infertility, but male fertility is often neglected. In addition to balancing testosterone, zinc plays an important role in maintaining the lining of reproductive organs and producing healthy sperm. Many minerals, including zinc are present in seminal fluid to protect sperm as it leaves the body. Zinc's anti-inflammatory properties prevent the sperm from oxidative stress. Moreover, this mineral keeps the sperm membrane stabilized and intact so that it can reach the egg safely.
Zinc and Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man cannot maintain an erection or is unable to perform sexually. Though many men may turn to Viagra, it is important to consider the underlying factors that may often be overlooked. Low testosterone levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, mental conditions or nutritional deficiencies can all cause erectile dysfunction.
Zinc in particular affects male sexual health and performance. Because testosterone regulates sex drive, a lack of this hormone can result in low libido and lead to problems like erectile function. There is evidence that zinc supplementation can improve ejaculatory control, sexual competence and sexual desire.
Zinc and prostate cancer
Prostate problems are extremely common in older men - it is never too late to start taking care of your prostate health. Symptoms of prostate cancer can be similar to those of prostate enlargement. As the prostate is located directly underneath the bladder, symptoms of prostate enlargement often involve urination problems.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
- needing to urinate frequently
- having a poor urine flow
- feeling a sense of urgency when nature calls
Studies have found a correlation between prostate cancer and low zinc levels. A normal prostate contains high levels of zinc in order to carry out the prostate cell's specialized functions. In contrast, a malignant prostate cell contains 62-75% less zinc than normal prostate tissues. Zinc is anti-inflammatory which can help reduce the size and risk of enlarged prostates.
When it comes to prostate enlargement, the inconvenience and discomfort of frequently needing a washroom nearby can disturb your daily life. Bring peace of mind by ruling out prostate cancer as a cause. If you experience chronic bladder symptoms, work with your healthcare practitioner such as a Naturopathic Doctor for a holistic approach.
How to boost testosterone and fertility naturally
If you frequently experience low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, or are losing muscle mass, it may be a sign that your testosterone levels are dropping. With age, it's natural for testosterone levels to drop. And is it possible to boost testosterone naturally, without prescriptions? Yes! Here are some habits to consider:
Physical activity is extremely beneficial in increasing testosterone, no matter your age. Resistance training such as weightlifting shows the best improvements, though all exercise can increase testosterone levels.
Eating foods rich in zinc
If you are not getting enough zinc in your diet, symptoms of low testosterone may start to surface. Eating zinc-rich foods such as oysters, beef, eggs, lentils and pumpkin seeds will give your body the nutrients it needs for proper hormone production.
Certain malabsorption conditions such as Crohn's, celiac disease, IBS, ulcers and chronic diarrhea may decrease zinc absorption. If you are concerned about your zinc levels, connect with your healthcare practitioner.
The long-term effects of stress affect your body in many ways. Chronic stress elevates the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to testosterone reduction. The two hormones affect each other inversely - when stress levels increase, testosterone and sexual function decreases. For optimal health, adopt strategies to help cope with stress. Breathwork, journaling and meditation are great options.
Supplementation of zinc for men's health
A variety of factors determine the health of male organs, fertility and libido. From stress, high blood pressure to high cholesterol, there are many changes to consider when prioritizing men's health.
Among its long list of benefits, there is sufficient evidence that zinc plays an important role in producing healthy testosterone, sperm and maintaining prostate health. Zinc supplementation can be added to a zinc-rich diet to prevent deficiency. We suggest Zinc Bis-Glycinate 50, an ultra-strength dose for acute needs.